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Warning Against Deceptive Claims from Solar Installation Companies

MURPHYSBORO, IL –Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association (EECA) is issuing a cautionary alert to its consumer-members (those who receive electricity from EECA) and the public regarding the deceptive tactics of out-of-state solar installers falsely claiming to be partnered with EECA.

“Unfortunately, this is an ongoing national issue of solar companies falsely representing themselves and utilities, and this causes harm to our reputable local installers who are operating honestly,” said Brad Austin, EECA’s Engineering and Operations Manager.

Consumer-members have reported that salespeople are going door-to-door claiming association with EECA and making unrealistic promises, such as no bills, in their sales contracts. The companies have also exaggerated that EECA’s rates have and will experience significant annual increases, contrary to historical evidence and with no accurate way of predicting the future of rates.   

“Over the past ten years, our residential rates have only risen by about 1.65% annually to keep up with inflation. However, out-of-town companies are sweeping through the area and presenting to our consumer-members that we will experience an increase of 4-6% each year in the future,” explained Austin. “We’ve seen these deceptive sales tactics that inflate our annual increases that incorrectly communicate a member’s projected payback timeframe and lock them into a high-interest loan under false savings expectations.”

EECA urges its consumer-members and the public to exercise caution when selecting a solar contractor. It is crucial to research reputable local contractors, obtain multiple bids, and verify experience and references. EECA also advises consumer- members to thoroughly review contract details, including maintenance plans and expectations. It’s also important to note that consumer-members will not reap the benefits of their solar installation until an interconnection agreement is initiated between the consumer-member and cooperative, so we urge you to contact us first before signing any contracts.

For consumer-members considering solar, EECA offers a list of considerations to help navigate the process safely and effectively. If you’re a member considering solar, it’s recommended to reach out to EECA first for unbiased advice and assistance.

Please note that while EECA does work with solar companies to best serve its members who choose to install solar, EECA does not endorse or refer companies to solicit its consumer-members.

If a consumer-member is given the impression that EECA is partnering or contracted with a solar company, this is a scam, and EECA should be notified. If a consumer-member ever has questions or concerns or needs clarification about our services, EECA can be reached at (800) 606-1505. If you feel you have been a victim of fraud, contact the Illinois Attorney General’s office at (618) 529-6400.